Tag Archives: prince charming

Your Father Isn’t… Elliot

7 May

I’m listening to my current guy aggressively drumming and shout/singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” while I’m writing this. It’s an all-around weird moment. Oh well, just go with it.

~~~

Elliot sends me an incredibly sweet, thoughtful message about what he likes in my profile and how much he thinks we’ll get along. There’s no bravado in it, no showmanship, which for DC is impossible. I actually work hard on my reply because I can’t easily match his level of sincerity.

We talk for what seems like an eternity each evening for about a week, one night until 2am. I’m amazed at how much we have in common. For every personal passion or hobby that I mention, even those things I only sheepishly admit, he shares the same excitement. Baseball? Big fan. Astronomy? He’s totally into it. Late 90s pop music? He responds with this gem.

 

Even the few things we don’t have in common he tells me he’s been dying to learn more or try out, like watching the Yankees or Korean barbeque. It’s incredible and I get swept up in the giddy idea that I have found my soulmate. If I’ve online dating has taught me anything, it’s that finding ‘the one’ should be that easy, right?

By the time I finally head to meet the world’s most perfect man, I’m an anxious mess. Even though I’m permanently behind the learning curve when it comes to this dating thing, I feel like may have made a fatal error somewhere along the line.

Our online personalities have become so close, so fast, and we’ve bonded so intensely that I feel this date will either end in an on-the-spot elopement or terrible disappointment. My stomach is in knots and I fight the urge to walk straight across the Metro platform to the train heading home instead of towards my potential Prince Charming, who I’m sure is patiently waiting for me at the trendy pizza place downtown.

Elliot is in fact waiting outside the restaurant, but that is where my expectations begin the crumble. He sort of shrugs his way up to me to introduce himself.  My heart sinks but I hold out hope. He doesn’t exude the energy I imagined for him based on hours of superficial online chats. I couldn’t have been THAT wrong though. He’s just nervous… that’s why he keeps ducking his head as he talks to me. That’s normal, right?

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We navigate the worst part of any pizza outing: deciding what to order. I’m surprised that Elliot is beyond thrilled to order every pizza I suggest. He positively gushes at each suggestion and my impeccable taste in pizza toppings. On a hunch, I pursue this line. I start saying increasingly ridiculous things to see if he’ll agree.

“I don’t like beer.” “Me either.”

“The only beer I like is Guinness.” “Wow, that’s so funny. Me too!”

“…when mixed with tequila and Diet Pepsi.” “I’ve never tried that but it sounds pretty good!”

“But I don’t really believe in drinking at all.” (as I sip my wine). “I actually didn’t drink at all for three years.”

“Oh? Why not? Bad experience? DUI? Religious conversion?” “My last girlfriend told me not to.”

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Elliott goes on to list the various things he gave up for his last girlfriend, including alcohol, red meat, and most of his friends. In exchange, he picked up her religion but is willing to change that for me.

I think back to our internet chemistry… Elliot wasn’t telling me we have so much in common, he was just telling me that we could. Soon. Once I tell him what to like.

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To my disappointment, I’m actually heartbroken. Watching this figment of my imagination dissolve, I feel like I’m going through a real break up. But with an imaginary person. Which makes it that much worse.

~~~

Kids, let this be a cautionary tale. After this experience I approached each new date with a perhaps aggressive level of skepticism, aware of the pitfalls of Internet-based rose-colored glasses. And I still managed to screw things up a few more times. It’s a jungle out there.